Monthly Archives: May 2015

Conscience is a Muscle

20150326_072745_resizedConscience is a Muscle
Do not let your conscience waste away,
For like your organs and muscles,
It needs constant exercise.

Smoke Free. Yesterday I visited the doctor (I have a phlegmatic cough and flu), and she asked me, “Do you smoke?” And for the first time in 2 decades, I replied in the negative. It felt real good being able to say that, coming into my 4th month smoke free.

20150328_084624_resizedAmbling. As part of my new health regiment, I am also doing a lot of ambling. It is like walking, but with little sense of purpose, almost uncaring where the journey will end. Dog-walkers and my elderly neighbours regularly overtake this ambler with ease. Initially, I was a little disturbed, but really, as I looked at their receding backs, who cares? Godspeed to them, I say. He he he.

Thank God for Pain. As a result of my diabetes, I have been feeling numb at my feet for years. So I am also taking some medication to reconstitute my nerve endings. It’s funny isn’t it? People normally run away from pain. But here I am, trying to feel pain again. So now as I lie in bed trying to sleep, pain does come. I can feel it coursing through the blood vessel of my feet, popping and trembling, as if being massaged by some unseen hands. So thank God for pain!

Threadmill. Which leads me (in my normal runabout way) back to my conscience. Because, like my physical body, I am afraid I have failed to diligently exercise my conscience, that spiritual compass that God has implanted in the core of all of us. So you may see me ambling in my neighbourhood, but morally speaking I am on a treadmill of my conscience, and I fear I am losing my breath, losing my mind, staggering like a drunkard at the cusp of collapsing. Pray for me.

20150512_065734_resizedMad Assurance. I cannot tell you how strange it feels not to smoke. Not to have a roll of burning leaf in my hand. For almost 20 years I have been cultivating a habit which to its last day earlier this year, meant that I puffed almost 4 boxes daily. Really, the only time I didn’t smoke was when I was asleep. I guess I was mad, but that madness filed my waking hours and like it or not, I found the nicotine sticks reassuring. Now that they are gone, what am I?…

Chemical Crutches
What am I now without my chemical crutches?
Am I spiritual? Or do I cling to some vain piety
That mortal men often clutches?

Nothing? I read once that you are what you habitually hold in your hand. So when I was smoking, I used to think I was, literally, a cigarette. But now, what am I holding? Nothing? No, not nothing unfortunately… For in my hand, though you may not see it, I hold a short temper, desire, jealousy, envy, bitterness and grudges. Alas, I am not Rumi. Far from it, I guess. But I do get to spend more time with my son, just walking and taking in our neighbourhood. One day at a time, one step at a time. Alhamdulillah

20150322_152524_resizedwa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

The Play

800px-r-staines-malvolio-shakespeare-twelfth-nightThe Play
What is reality
But a reflection
In His pool,

What is life
But a sigh,
A moment when
He gives the sign
And says, “I love thee.”

What is death
But the end of a play,
And the unmasking
Of an actor
Temporarily animating
A vessel of clay and water.

I asked my son, Mikhail, how was his exam today. To which he replied glumly, “Okay.

Okay?” I responded.

Almost in a whisper he confirmed this, “Yess… Okay, okay.

Oh you mean, OkaaaaAAAY…!!” I said, teasing him.

No, no, Papa.” Mika clarified, carefully losing the exuberance in the word. “Just… okay.“, Then he continued, “I don’t want to raise hopes, Papa.

I smiled at his wariness, then I explained, “I am afraid that is impossible, Mika. The moment you were born, you raised our hopes.

Mika and Me 1Thus you see, it doesn’t really matter how fleeting our life here may be. Nor how illusory is the reality we inhabit in our costume of water and clay. As a father or a mother, as a son or a daughter, we are all inexorably linked to Hope – upon the assurance of the Loving Lord God. So until next time, sunshine, may we play our roles as best we can, remember our lines and don’t bump into the furniture.

Oh, my child!
My hope was dead,
Then it was rekindled
When the Lord raised you
From my grave,

Yet I have nothing to give you, my child…

But the Lord?

Without end
He gives and gives and gives!

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

TRUE LIFE – of Islam, true life, love and a cousin…

Islam, True Life and Love
Islam is no religion,
It is bigger than that word,

True life cannot be measured,
For it is longer than Time,
Extending beyond this world,

Love is a word
That you might say to me,
But it is bigger than this world
Yet it can live in your heart
No bigger than your hand
Clenched into a fist.

So speak no more, my Love
Just kiss.

He loved his old car... a Ford Escort, ancient even in the 1980s when this picture was taken.

He loved his car… a Ford Escort, old even in the 1980s when this picture was taken.

How long shall we mourn? Oh, sunshine. how many times have we died? How many times have our hearts been shattered, broken into a million pieces? How many times have we said our forlorn goodbyes to our kin and beloved friends? Only to see their faces floating in front of our heart to this very day? How long shall must we sup on this sadness?

Abg Shem2 Balqies picA Death. On 30th December 2014, I wrote in the Sinners Almanac upon the occasion of my cousin’s unexpected passing. Some people call him Zaid, others call him Ayah, or maybe Shem or Pak Shem. But I call him Abang Shem. I, like his immediate family and close friends, was totally blindsided by his unexpected death. And for months thereafter, I wanted to write about him, yet something stayed my pen. Perhaps it seemed to me, that if I do write about Abang Shem, I am confirming the finality of his ending. The closure of his story. The end of his life.

But of course, in hindsight, death is nothing like that at all, because there is no ‘The End’ to Abang Shem’s story, nor to any of our dearly departeds. Not when you have left behind many good friends and kin who will still remember your happy (and sad) times together – those whose life you touched with your humour, generosity and smile. Even in the life of one cousin who, in his younger days, was quite afraid of you. But one who can now only remember you with sighful gratitude for having a cousin like you.

That’s him alright, Abang Shem. Now continuing his true life, insya Allah (Godwilling) in the company of Nabi Muhammad(saws), his blessed family and companions, and his inheritors. May we be joined together in the future, insya Allah.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

I am not Rumi

I Am
I am not a bird,
Nor am I a pen,
I am not a word,
Nor am I a sword,
I am just a man,

I am not a priest,
Nor am I a king,
I am not a prince,
Nor am I a rose,
I am the thorn, you see,
And I prick and sting.

Where am I, sunshine? After 1,607 postings of dubious quality in the Sinners Almanac (first one on 3rd August 2010), I am now here. It feels strange being at a new place. But then again life often brings us to new vistas. And sometimes life does not disclose the hidden purpose until we get there. So rather than wait forever for me to understand the reason why I need to migrate my musings from my old blog, I will just do it (as Nike advices) and cast caution to the tempestuous wind blowing outside the window of my soul.window-407206_640

The funny thing about change is that it changes nothing… Except to reveal who we are for that moment in time. When that moment passes, who knows who we may be next?

But however I may disassemble, at least one thing I know for sure. And that is I am not Rumi.

I am just me.

Thus I wish to welcome you to my new abode, sunshine. May your stay here, however fleeting, bring a little baraqa and blessings to this untidy corner of the internet.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way